Timekeeping in the former East Germany

Watches 7

More watches made by Ruhla in the former East Germany.

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5 responses

  1. P.M.C

    Hello. I am a small Ruhla watch collector and this the second time I am here because I would like if you could help me in a few questions regardind export brands from Ruhla.
    1 – I have in my collection Brands like ASEIKON, AMULCOR 23,BITUNIA 23, DONADA 23,TOYOTA 23 and all of them are cased in gilded cases, which have a rather different shape and design from those more commonly produced by Ruhla factory, almost all of them have waterproof and “colombo style” inscripted on the caseback`s. I understand from what I have read in your site that many ruhla movements were cased in foreign countries. Of course they are still related to Ruhla because of the movements, but……
    Is this the case for the brands I have mentioned above? Are these watches to be considered as GDR or Foreign timepieces with Ruhla movements?

    2 – I also have 6 pseudo diver watches with such brands as JUMBO, ANKER, MEISTER ANKER, KH SPORT, RUHLA ANKER, ANKER KH, and again all of them have rotating bezels, same hour/min hands etc. From what I have read they were very prolific in the FRG market. For sure that many of them also found their way into the hands of East Germans. Were these watches also produced in GDR? or were cased in FRG?

    I am sorry for the long text, but I am really curious about these watches.
    Best regards.

    November 13, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    • Hello Pedro,

      Thank you for your message. In response to your questions I will try to help.
      1. Based on the evidence of different watch cases and designs, I would say it is about 50:50. Generally, Aseikon, Amulcor and Bitunia appear to have used only Ruhla movements whilst the case is produced elsewhere, probably Hong Kong. Other brands such as Karex, Saxon and Meister Anker are Ruhla produced watches and are often identical to Ruhla branded watches. Ruhla had a large list of brands which it owned and produced watches under. So far, I have counted over 70 different brands which were either produced directly by Ruhla or contain Ruhla movements.
      2. You are right that these diver watches were very popular in the FRG and other countries of western Europe. In the FRG, these watches were often sold in department stores and in mail order catalogues such as Quelle. However, many divers watches were also available in the GDR. Often, West German relatives of East Germans could buy these watches as gifts using the Geschenk in der DDR (Gifts in the GDR) catalogue. The West German family member would order and pay for the item but it would be delivered to the relative in East Germany directly thus earning the GDR more foreign currency. However, there were independent jewellers and watch sellers in the GDR as in other parts of western Europe and such watches were available via these outlets.

      I hope this answers your questions.

      Regards,

      Sekondtime

      November 13, 2014 at 5:51 pm

  2. P.M.C

    Thank you so much. Awsome material!!!. I have posed this questions because I am now interested in GDR diver watches.
    Btw, I have another question for you: I have a wristwatch with black plastic case with black dial depicting the symbol of parachutes at 12 o´clock and a military rank at 6 o`clock. The watch is branded “ANKER (KH)”. Is it from GDR era or post reunification?
    I would like to share some photos of my collection with you, Is that possible? and how?
    Best regards.

    November 13, 2014 at 6:17 pm

  3. P.M.C

    Thank you very much for your help. I whish all the best for you and your Excellent collection.

    November 13, 2014 at 9:38 pm

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